In May, we did a quick post about two of the biggest budgeting apps out on the market. In it, we also mentioned a few apps that can help you save actual cash.
The post was so successful (and even had some inquiries about those other apps) that we decided to cover more of them!
There are a lot of articles out there around "money saving apps", but most of them are around budgeting and investing only. Those are really important, of course, but they don't necessarily save you money.
They may prevent you from spending some needlessly, but they don't direct you to different stores or services that actually cost less. It's an important difference!
That said, here are 2 apps that will actually help you save your hard earned cash on the two big G’s - gas & groceries.
In the realm of gas-cost saving apps, the most popular is GasBuddy with a download count of over 90 million. GasBuddy is extremely easy to use, and the interface is very clean. There are
27 different ways to save on gas/diesel covering more than 150,000 stations in North America. You can filter your search results based on station name, price, location and even extra services like car washes and on-site restaurants.
Usage is simple. With your GPS on, open the app and press the locator feature. You will then be given a list of gas stations, sorted by your preferences. Since the main point of GasBuddy is to help you find the cheapest gas, most people will sort by price.
You can also save up to 25c per gallon when you join their “Pay with GasBuddy” program. They’ve partnered with the following gas stations to offer gas discounts at the pump - Shell, Speedway, Murphy, Chevron, Circle K, BP, Wawa, Valero, Racetrac, Sheetz, Marathon, Sunoco, Phillips 66, Conoco, 76, Citgo, 7 Eleven and dozens more.
GasBuddy also helps you save money by helping you earn free gas through their program called “GasBack”. Download GasBack and then shop on a variety of websites, including Amazon and Walmart, and earn free gas simply by doing your regular shopping. GasBuddy has also partnered with some fast food chains, so if you’re hungry while on the road, you can get special offers for food. One of the best features, however, is the “price hike” alert feature. If prices are about to go up, the app will alert you so you can fill up before they do.
You can get GasBuddy on Android and iOS.
Ibotta is the best way to earn actual cash on your grocery spending. To date, Ibotta has paid out over $600 million in cash rewards to over 35 million users since its inception in 2012!
It’s an extremely simple app to use either in-person or with online shopping. First, you download the app and, before you go shopping, make sure to unlock whatever available cash rewards are applicable to your upcoming trip.
Once you’re done shopping, snap a picture of your receipt and upload it into the app. Any qualifying purchases will give you cash back within 24 hours.
If you’re using the app online on your desktop or laptop computer, you can even install the app extension for Chrome to make your online shopping seamless. (Note: as of the time of this post, the Chrome extension is in beta).
Another great feature of Ibotta is your ability to link your credit or debit card to your account and use mobile pay at any of the participating 50+ retailers.
You also get nearby store alerts for cash back offers right to your phone and you can link any retail loyalty accounts! It’s really the all-in-one powerhouse shopping app.
If you want to increase your savings potential, you can also use apps like Flipp, which is a view-all-coupons-in-one-place app (literally over 2000 retailers of coupons that you can search by item) and Checkout51, which is a more brand-oriented grocery cash back app. It works similarly to Ibotta (unlock offers, shop, scan receipt) but the offers are very brand-oriented. Sometimes, there are cashback offers on produce that can be purchased anywhere, but there are only usually a few of them, versus a plethora of offers on items like non-perishables and toiletries.
By using money-saving apps like these, you can put more money into your savings or retirement account or pay off debt more quickly. Never miss an opportunity to protect your hard-earned wealth.